2006 Phillip Island Classic

A huge field of almost 90 Historic Tourers took part in six Rockwell Automation backed races over the weekend of February 11-12. Entries were divided into Over and

4-5 February 2006

Words Darren Knight. Pics ??

Under 3 litre grids, a formula that once again provided fantastic action

Under 3L

Greg Malure would not grid up having severely jarred his back after an excursion during qualifying, the Mini running off at full noise at turn one and demonstrating why you won`t see many running in the Paris-Dakar! BDA Escort driver Glen Hastings snared pole (1:56.3067) and the first win, edging out Russell Pilven (Datsun 1600). Jason Humble (RX-2) ran third despite taking to the grass at Lukey Heights on the last lap, avoiding the looping BMW 2002 of Bill Cutler who had been part of an amazing four way battle for the lead. Phil Reynolds Mini broke a hub and lost a front wheel at turn 12 on the opening lap, lucky not to roll as fellow Brickster Anthony Ramage suffered the same fate a few laps later. Mike Oliver (EH) blew a gearbox as the EHs of Barry Mitchell and Ben Wilkinson diced hard, the 2002 of Peter Martin also joining in. Ben Read had a wild ride at Honda after the throttle stuck in the Datsun 1000, eventually rejoining. Tassies Lew Bush (RX-2) was fourth, then Spencer Rice (Alfa GTV 1750), Cutler, Wilkinson, Martin and Mitchell. Ted Brewster was the first of the Minis home in tenth after a great duel with Richard Fairlams EH. Fastest lap: Humble 1:57.0938.

Humble made the most of a slow start from Hastings to win race two while Cutler was third. Pilven was next, the front four again displaying some of the closest (and cleanest) racing ever seen at this meeting. Bush was only a second adrift in fifth, then Harry Bargwanna (Jasons dad) sixth in his V6 Capri after a race one DNF. Rice, Martin, Mitchell and the Lotus Corty of Paul Trevethan rounded out the top ten. Fastest lap: Hastings (1:56.6111)

 Humble led race three as the Escort struggled off the line, Hastings fighting back before retiring with suspected gearbox dramas. Cutler and Pilven could not catch Humble, fellow Mazda man Bush backing up in fourth. Bargs recovered after locking a brake and going off at Honda to be next, then Rice, Martin, Brewster, Trevethan and the pushrod Cortina of Stuart Barnes, just beating home Ramage. Fastest lap: Bargwanna (1:57.2151).

Over 3L

Tony Hubbards `67 Camaro took pole (1:51.5246) but a Summernats style start (mucho tyre smoke!) allowed Trevor Talbot (XU-1) to lead briefly before the 350 Chev proved too much. Tony Hunter (HQ Kingswood) grabbed third. Darren Pearces brand new `68 Trans Am Mustang showed early pace but lacked development in brakes and handling, eventually retiring with a blown head gasket. Cam Worner (XW GTHO) came home fourth, then John Harrison, Alf Bargwanna and Peter Knight (all Toranas), then Garry Treloar (`68 Camaro), Jervis Ward (Nb Mustang) and Williams. Fastest lap: Hubbard (1:51.9633).

Treloar did not start race two after discovering potential hub issues. Eddie Dobbs` XU-1 broke something in the drive line off the start while shortly later Michael Bugelly (Mustang) and Greg Barr (XU-1) retired with heavily damaged cars after being innocent parties in a first lap incident. Paul Zazryn (Mk II Jag) and Ray Challis (XU-1) also received panel damage at Honda as Ward retired with a blown radiator hose. Hubbard won from early leader Talbot then Hunter. Williams was fourth, then Harrison, Knight, Bargwanna, Pearce, Slater and Worner. Fastest lap: Talbot (1:52.8991).

Hubbard really bogged down starting the final, falling to fourth before eventually challenging Talbot but running out of tyres and brakes, allowing birthday boy Talbot to take the win. Hunter was again third, surviving an attack from Pearce at Honda that saw the Mustang lock the rears and spear off, Pearce electing to retire the wayward Ford on the spot. Harrison just beat Slater for fourth, Williams recovering to be sixth after falling off twice on the final lap. Worner was again leading Henry pilot in seventh, then Bargwanna, James Frolley (Nc 289 Mustang) and Steve Bye (`68 Trans Am Mustang). Fastest lap: Hubbard (1:51.8796).